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on it to ease its mounting losses. the u.s. economy shows more signs of slowing, and slowing down faster than expected. but silver has been red hot. where is the demand coming from and can it last? we talk with phil baker, the c.e.o. of hecla mining. that and more tonight on nbr! we begin with discouraging news about the sluggish economy. by the broadest measurement, economic growth slowed sharply in the second quarter. the gross domestic product was revised considerably lower today. growth was 1.3% in the april through june period. just a month ago, the estimate was 1.7%. add that to a big drop in purchases of big ticket items, like washing machines and furniture. in august, durable goods orders fell 13.2%, and you've got an economy that's just muddling along. but one ray of encouragement-- fewer people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week. claims fell by 26,000 to their july lows of 359,000 claims. on wall street, the dow jumped 72 points, the nasdaq added almost 43 points, the s&p up 13. while the u.s. continues working through problems left over by the great recess
hoarding cash during the recession and are now eager to spend it on new homes on signs the overall economy is improving. but that increased demand has brought more competition for lots. >> now you have end users who are buying for themselves, you have other builders who are doing spec homes, so lot prices have gone up significantly in the last ten months. >> reporter: new home prices are also rising. the commerce department said last month alone they were up more than 11%. but while this is all good news for an economy that hasn't had much of it lately, morningstar economist robert johnson says the market still has to make up a lot of lost ground. >> if you look at housing starts at the peak we were over two million starts. i'd say based on population the number should have been about a million ana half. now we're down around 750,000 in terms of housing starts so we're kind of half of what i view as normal. >> reporter: one wild card for builders is the ongoing uncertainty about the bush tax cuts. subkowiak says if those tax cuts aren't extended some potential buyers could put a hold on bu
the economy. to what extent are the low rates motivating consumers to spend? >> i frankly don't buy that too much. i think there's a problem because you hurt people's interest income, and people with interest income could spend more, and the problem is people aren't able to access the low rates. you need a very high credit score to get the low rates and everybody that can access the low rates has done it, and if the rates were higher banks wouldn't require as high of a credit score. they're selling what they can through fany and fedy freddie. it's about credit scores and not interest rates. >> susie: aside from what banks are doing. what has to change, to change consumer attitudes about spending? >> the economy has to get better. we've had this in the summer for the past two or three years in a row, and every economy rebounds. if we're going to have a rebound in the holiday season, that could be great and help to put people back to work, and allow them to spend a little bit more freely. we also have a long holiday season. november starts out on a thursday, which means thanksgiving comes earl
Search Results 0 to 17 of about 18 (some duplicates have been removed)